A while ago, I reviewed The Wire on my low budget, miserabilist BBC4 show Screen Wipe, calling it "the best TV show of the past decade" in the process. I was wrong. I hadn't seen the fourth season then, which subsequently convinced me it's the best TV show since the invention of radio - Charlie Brooker.
It was Barack Obama who got me into The Wire. "In a recent story in The Nation," wrote Brian Cook of In These Times, "Chris Hayes used 2,200-plus words to argue why progressives should back Sen. Barack Obama. I’ll use only seven: Obama’s favorite TV show is The Wire."
If you've never heard of it you're not alone (its viewing figues in Britain were under forty thousand). But if Charles Dickens had written for TV, he would have written something like The Wire. Bleak and multi-layered, each of the five series looks at a different but interlocking facet of Baltimore life: the War on Drugs, the decline of heavy industry, politics, public schools and the media.
Put simply, it's the best TV show ever made.